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#1 Edited by adam1808 (1488 posts) -

At some point everyone has been guilty of being a dick on the internet or picking fights just because you can. Last night I chose to apologise to some guy on the internet and it made me realise how rarely myself, or anyone else on the internet for that matter, backs down from an argument on the internet

Recently I was reading the comments on a GS news post about Epic not ruling out the possibility of a Gears of War FPS. One of the comments went on about how good the Gears of War books were. I scoffed, basically gave him the kind of condescending shit you see all over the internet and he called me on it. Having never read any of the books, I was faced with the decision of whether to make an uninformed argument for the sake of it or back down.
I chose to back down. I apologised for being an arse and we went on our merry way. My pride was hurt but that's what I deserved. 
What the whole encounter did do was get me thinking about the fact that we rarely ever back down on the internet or apologise for attacking people when we've got nothing to go on but our knee-jerk reaction.
 
Do you ever back down? Do you ever make a habit of apologising of people take a sarcastic/patronising remark personally?

#2 Edited by CaLe (3981 posts) -

If I'm wrong I will. But I'm rarely wrong.

#3 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I don't really do that except as a joke when I'm talking to friends on steam or something. Also the Gears books are actually pretty good, you should check em' out :)

#4 Posted by Fattony12000 (7402 posts) -

NEVER BACK DOWN

NEVER SURRENDER

THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN HERE

Yes, all the time.

#5 Posted by falserelic (5436 posts) -

I don't like getting into internet arguments at all. For me getting into a heated conversation with someone on the internet isn't worth it. As for apologizing I only do that if I feel I was wrong, but I rarely apologize.

#6 Posted by Ares42 (2661 posts) -

@CaLe said:

If I'm wrong I will. But I'm rarely wrong.

I would say this, although slightly modified.

If I'm wrong I will, but the other guy is rarely interested in proving me wrong.

#7 Posted by lightsoda (541 posts) -

I'm a pretty laid back guy, I usually don't let things get to me or rage over pointless things. I don't call people noobs online, or similar. I'm sure I'm not the only one, or atleast I hope so.

I usually just wait for things to blow over instead of get my self into pointless bickering "because I can".

#8 Posted by Contrarian (1143 posts) -

If I am wrong ........ however, if the other guy is being a dick, I just change and confuse the argument as I don't like giving someone who is a dick the satisfaction they don't deserve.

#9 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@adam1808: Don't worry, those books are terrible.

#10 Posted by Fallen189 (5004 posts) -

Its usually less of an admittance of fault, more of a "fuck it"

#11 Posted by Sweep (8858 posts) -

We have a pretty nice community here. Most times when we have to moderate people for acting like jerks they apologise.

Moderator
#12 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

Never because I don't start a discussion on a topic unless I know that I'm right. I always give up in annoyance of the other person not trying to have an intellectual debate as they just result to playground name calling and arguments.

#13 Posted by Jrad (622 posts) -

I don't make serious arguments on the internet. I make sweeping and condescending blanket statements and when someone calls me on my bullshit I present an even more radical and outlandish opinion in return. This continues until the other party abandons ship.

#14 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

I usually don't, but if I'm dead wrong I will.
 
Thing is though, if I get into a argument on the internet its always about someone thinking something else than I do. 
I like a game, random internet person does not, random person gets uncivil, etc.

#15 Posted by Aronman789 (2676 posts) -

Well, in real life if I'm wrong I'll probably try to change the subject or pretend I got confused somewhere along the way and my head is jumbled up, since it usually kills the conversation right there. So far no one's called me out on it when I do that, maybe I'm too convincing, but if they did I'd imagine I'd have to swallow my pride and admit defeat, though not gracefully. If they tried to push it and make me say it again or something, I'd tell them to fuck off.

#16 Posted by Blunt (60 posts) -

After I reach full climax.

#18 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

Never, I clarify.

I never intend to get in a standoffish situation, so if someone interprets my words in that way, I clarify. If they still want to start an internet fight (the most pointless of exercises), I simply leave.

#19 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

Don't go around acting like an assface on the internet for no good reason and you never have to apologize. Really, I just try to avoid confrontations altogether.

#20 Posted by Getz (3004 posts) -

I have definitely apologized before, but I so rarely get in to heated arguments that warrant it; they just never get that far. Most of the time, I'll say something, they'll say something, I'll respond and then I never hear from them again.

#21 Posted by Shivoa (625 posts) -

It's the internet so unless you're using your nickname/avatar as a shield of anonymity (changing from forum to forum and being culled over time and replaced with a new ones) everything you type (including every time you're wrong) is being recorded to be found on archive.org or the Google cache. That means it is probably a good idea to say when you realise you're wrong, be up front about your realisation and what insights you have now that make your previous position laughable, otherwise you're just leaving behind the impression you're still as foolish as when you started arguing.

Disagreements and debates can be great for clarifying your own thoughts, but in person your words drift away in the wind. Always 'own up' to a change of heart when everything you say is via the permanence of the internet. Or not, but don't expect Google to always be useless to search as long as you're prolific enough. You're leaving behind a trail of whatever you thought at that moment (Oh God, the internet is old and there is still still archived from what I thought 15+ years ago - I guess that is obvious to the younger generation that grew up with there always being an internet) and one day you might have to explain it to someone important like a prospective employer.

#22 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

NEVER BACK DOWN, BROSKI!

#23 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

I usually only back down or apologize if I've got emotional and put words in someone's mouth or have been utterly reductive with their viewpoint. Otherwise I can only agree to disagree, especially when regarding subjective areas.

#24 Posted by TruthTellah (8985 posts) -

@adam1808: I back down a decent bit. I'm also pretty good at getting others to accept backing down, as it's very rarely a one-way street. At a certain point, though, you have to be adults about it and either come to some kind of understanding or respectfully end the conversation.

#25 Posted by Jeust (10642 posts) -

I admit when I'm wrong, apologise a lot of times, but sometimes I just let the argument slide by.

#26 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

When I was younger, I would post crap online without having an informed opinion all of the time, but I think most people just ignored it, and I didn't have to respond to much flame bait. Now, I feel so guilty about posting about something without knowing anything about it that I only weigh in when I have an answer, or I ask questions so I can learn more. I guess I don't like confrontation much even with the internet as my sheild. That and I had a guy threaten to hack my computer for being a serious douche in a forum once when I was 17. He read off my location and IP address without me giving him any info, and I believed him. I was much more courteous after that.

#27 Posted by RenMcKormack (1074 posts) -

#28 Posted by Milkman (16777 posts) -

Once I realize that the argument is not worth my time (which is fairly quickly), I'll usually just say fuck it and do something else.

#29 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@BraveToaster: @RenMcKormack:

I hate you both!

#30 Posted by RenMcKormack (1074 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: get at me bro

my real answer is this. when you feel like your next post is going to be a personal attack on the other poster then you need to reevaluate.

#31 Posted by LikeaSsur (1528 posts) -

This is an interesting question, and it forced me to look at my time here on the internet. I remember a lot more than I care to, and one of them is my gradual descent into uncaring apathy regarding others' feelings.

When I was a young lad, about 12-15, when America Online was the thing, I was kind, I was considerate, I didn't get into arguments because I didn't respond much and when I did, it usually sided with the majority. As time went on, however, I began to have differing opinions than most, and would be called out on it. I would defend myself, but it always left me uneasy. I read other forums where people would get pretty heated, and I wondered why these people were so angry.

Flash forward 7 years later, and here I am, believing that none of you are real, you're just words on a computer screen, and if you say something stupid, I will call you such and not feel bad about it, because hey, you're not human.

....I'm trying to get back to where I was. So if I have to apologize, I will.

#32 Posted by gunninkr (140 posts) -

I keep it calm. Is someone turns into an ass I usually ignore and move on. Some responses from people are disappointing. Such as life. The comments/aruments I hate the most are the ones from people that may not like what you have to say about an issue or they do not like the questions you are asking and they act like they putting you in your place for the whole community. Choose your battles. Most arguments arent worth it from a faceless internet poster.

#33 Posted by adam1808 (1488 posts) -
@TruthTellah: I find once you apologise/back down people suddenly realise their also are adults and are gracious about it. Sometimes all it needs is one person to give way and the mood lightens, at least that was the case here.
#34 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

Eh I only back down if I know I'm wrong. If the other guy can't prove me wrong and I can't prove myself wrong, it doesn't take that long to keep writing shit to him.

#35 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2106 posts) -

I tend not to be arrogant or a jerk in real life or on the internet in general. This generally goes in both settings, I will usually say something to what I think it true, if I know I am right, I will usually make a point to back it up, but it someone doesn't want to believe me, okay, cool, thats your problem. Again, in general, in both settings, I usually try not to say anything I am not sure is over 95% chance of being true.

#36 Posted by JonSmith (171 posts) -

Usually I'd rather agree to disagree than actually apologize, or find a compromise that allows both parties to walk away unapologetic. But if I'm wrong, and I am unable to prove that I'm right, then I'll apologize.

#37 Posted by adam1808 (1488 posts) -
@Canteu: I thought as much, but I didn't know so making that claim would have just made me seem more like a jerk if I couldn't substantiate it.
#38 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

I try to abide by one simple rule; don't say anything on the internet that you wouldn't say to someone's face.

Yup, I'm that much of a dick.

#39 Posted by Lunar_Aura (2779 posts) -

If it seems like I genuinely hurt someone elses feelings when trolling, then yeah I give a sincere apology. It's all just to kill time and BS around. I'd hate to have been a catalyst of someone doing actual harm to themselves, but I'm sure it has happened in my darker internet past.

#40 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I just say what I want to say and go and do something else. I don't really like having arguments with people on the internet. I don't see the point. Not once has anybody ever said to me "You know what? You're right!" People are so entrenched in their beliefs that they're typically unwilling to listen to a differing view. So arguing seems fairly pointless. And I don't get comment notifications so I'm sure people have tried to start an argument with me before and I'll never know. And never care.

#41 Posted by Twisted_Scot (1177 posts) -

I never start anything but when it becomes clear your arguing with a moron its time to walk away.

#42 Posted by ervonymous (1297 posts) -

I think I'm doing a good job at being as bland and nonconfrontational as possible, but sorry if I offended someone.

#43 Posted by sam1am7000 (99 posts) -

@adam1808 said:

At some point everyone has been guilty of being a dick on the internet or picking fights just because you can. Last night I chose to apologise to some guy on the internet and it made me realise how rarely myself, or anyone else on the internet for that matter, backs down from an argument on the internet Recently I was reading the comments on a GS news post about Epic not ruling out the possibility of a Gears of War FPS. One of the comments went on about how good the Gears of War books were. I scoffed, basically gave him the kind of condescending shit you see all over the internet and he called me on it. Having never read any of the books, I was faced with the decision of whether to make an uninformed argument for the sake of it or back down. I chose to back down. I apologised for being an arse and we went on our merry way. My pride was hurt but that's what I deserved. What the whole encounter did do was get me thinking about the fact that we rarely ever back down on the internet or apologise for attacking people when we've got nothing to go on but our knee-jerk reaction. Do you ever back down? Do you ever make a habit of apologising of people take a sarcastic/patronising remark personally?

As read on some other forum where a person apologised .... "are you trying to break the internet?"

#44 Posted by Brendan (7803 posts) -

There have been times where I've misinterpreted what someone else has said, and in those cases I've apologized. Where I'm pretty sure that I'm correct I just don't respond after two or three exchanges because text discussions are too time consuming.

#45 Posted by GJSmitty (651 posts) -

I never take the time to get in an argument on the internet. At the most I'll say something, somebody will disagree, then I'll say "Okay."

#46 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

It's been killing my postcount, but I've been making an active effort to not post if all I have is a snarky comment (I'm only 50% successful on this one) and not posting if all I'm doing is calling out someone for being a dumbass (80% success rate).

Actually contributing is hard. Here's some cute-ass animals instead:

AWWWWWWWWWWWWW!
#47 Posted by SexyToad (2760 posts) -

I haven't got into a fight here. Well at least not a very heated one.

#48 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@SexyToad said:

I haven't got into a fight here. Well at least not a very heated one.

Fuck you toad.

#49 Edited by Superkenon (1430 posts) -

@Contrarian said:

If I am wrong ........ however, if the other guy is being a dick, I just change and confuse the argument as I don't like giving someone who is a dick the satisfaction they don't deserve.

How contrarian of you! Ha-HA!

...

What? That joke was golden! I'LL ARGUE YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

#50 Posted by oneidwille (149 posts) -

Hmm, I guess I've never got into an argument on the interwebs before. This is kinda the only place I ever post...as few post as they may be.